Apr. 20, 1986 - Air Jordan sets an NBA playoff record with 63 points in a game

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"I think," Larry Bird said after the game, “it’s just God disguised as Michael Jordan.”

Jordan was able to play in only 18 regular-season games in his second year in the NBA, after breaking a small bone in his foot in Chicago Bulls third game of the year. Although he was encouraged to sit out the end of the season in order to make sure he was fully healed for the next, he insisted on coming back late in the season and led the Bulls to the 1986 NBA Playoffs.

It was in Game 2 of Chicago’s first round matchup against the eventual NBA champion Boston Celtics that Jordan showed just how thoroughly he had recovered. In the hallowed halls of the Boston Garden, he set a playoff record by scoring an amazing 63 points against what many considered to be one of the greatest NBA teams ever. The Celtics won the game, 135-131 in double-overtime, and went on to sweep the Bulls, but Jordan’s playoff record still stands.

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"Don’t be afraid of failure. This is the way to succeed." - LeBron James

If at first you don’t succeed…

The 2013-14 NBA playoffs begin today! 
Eight first-round series set to tip off. What are your first round predictions? Who you got?
Eastern Conference 1. Indiana Pacers vs. 8. Atlanta Hawks 2. Miami Heat vs. 7. Charlotte Bobcats  3. Toronto Raptors vs. 6. Brooklyn Nets  4. Chicago Bulls vs. 5. Washington Wizards Western Conference 1. San Antonio Spurs vs. 8. Dallas Mavericks 2. Oklahoma City Thunder vs. 7. Memphis Grizzlies  3. Los Angeles Clippers vs. 6. Golden State Warriors 4. Houston Rockets vs. 5. Portland Trail Blazers

The 2013-14 NBA playoffs begin today!

Eight first-round series set to tip off. What are your first round predictions? Who you got?

Eastern Conference
1. Indiana Pacers vs. 8. Atlanta Hawks
2. Miami Heat vs. 7. Charlotte Bobcats
3. Toronto Raptors vs. 6. Brooklyn Nets
4. Chicago Bulls vs. 5. Washington Wizards

Western Conference
1. San Antonio Spurs vs. 8. Dallas Mavericks
2. Oklahoma City Thunder vs. 7. Memphis Grizzlies
3. Los Angeles Clippers vs. 6. Golden State Warriors
4. Houston Rockets vs. 5. Portland Trail Blazers

April 17, 1997 - Martin Brodeur becomes the second NHL goalie to score in a playoff game

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In the first game of a first-round playoff matchup against the Montreal CanadiansMartin Brodeur fired the puck the length of the ice and into the Canadiens’ empty net to ensure a 5–2 victory. It was only the second time in NHL history that a goaltender had scored in the playoffs, and the fifth time overall. The New Jersey Devils went on to win that series, but lost in the second round to the rival New York Rangers.

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Apr. 16, 1949 - The Toronto Maple Leafs became the first team to win three straight Stanley Cup titles

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The 1949 Stanley Cup Final was a best-of-seven series between the Detroit Red Wings and the defending champion Toronto Maple Leafs, the second straight final series between Detroit and Toronto. The Maple Leafs won the series in four straight games to win their third consecutive Stanley Cup and eighth in the history of the franchise.

The Maple Leafs became the first NHL team to win the Cup in three straight seasons. The Leafs also won nine straight finals games. By defeating Detroit, Toronto won the Stanley Cup with a losing record. The only other team to win the Stanley Cup after finishing the regular season with a losing record was the 1938 Chicago Blackhawks.

Apr. 11, 1989 - Ron Hextall became the first goalie in NHL history to score a goal in the playoffs

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Ron Hextall became the first NHL goaltender to score a goal by shooting the puck into the opponent’s empty net, against the Boston Bruins in the 1987–88 season. The following season, he became the first to score in the playoffs, by shooting the puck into the Washington Capitals’ empty net. His mobile style of play, in which he provided support to his defencemen by coming out of the goal area to play the puck was revolutionary, and inspired future generations of goaltenders, such as Martin Brodeur. He was also known for being one of the NHL’s most aggressive goaltenders: he was suspended for six or more games on three occasions, had more than 100 penalty minutes in each of his first three seasons, and set new records for the number of penalty minutes recorded by a goaltender in the NHL.

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Mar. 17, 1940 - first time in NHL history, one line finished 1-2-3 in league scoring

The 1939–40 NHL season was the 23rd season for the National Hockey League. Of the league’s seven teams, the Boston Bruins were the best in the 48-game regular season. The first place Boston Bruins had a new coach in Cooney Weiland, their one-time captain, and were once again led by their Kraut Line, Milt Schmidt, Woody Dumart, and Bobby Bauer as they finished 1–2–3 in overall league scoring. Unfortunately, the potent three were unable to help the Bruins get past the first round of the playoffs as the Bruins lost in six games to the New York Rangers.

"I never left the field saying ‘I could have done more to get ready’ and that gives me peace of mind." - Peyton Manning

"The separation is in the preparation." - Russell Wilson

"You hear about how many fourth quarter comebacks that a guy has and I think it means a guy screwed up in the first three quarters." - Peyton Manning

Don’t call it a comeback.

"I think we have unbelievable potential. But a wise man once told me potential has never won a game." - Cam Newton

"I’m not worried about what people are saying. If intimidation is your game plan, I hope you have a better one." - Colin Kaepernick

Ain’t worried about nothing.

#‎MJMondays‬

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Michael Jordan and Craig Ehlo star in ‘The Shot.’

Jim Durham was calling the game on the Chicago Bulls Radio Network and narrated what happened next:

"The inbounds pass comes in to Jordan. Here’s Michael at the foul line, the shot on Ehlo…GOOD! THE BULLS WIN IT! THEY WIN IT! They upset the Cleveland Cavaliers! Michael Jordan hits it at the foul line! 101–100! 20,273 in stunned silence here in the Coliseum. Michael Jordan with 44 points in a game hit the shot over Craig Ehlo. What tremendous heroics we have had in Game 5. From both teams, what a spectacular series this has been. In my days in the NBA, 16 years, this is the greatest series I’ve ever seen!"

#ThrowbackThursdays

Allen Iverson scores 48 points in his NBA Finals debut and steps over Tyronn Lue.

Iverson led the Sixers to their first finals since their 1983 championship. In game one of the 2001 NBA Finals, Iverson scored a playoff high 48 points and beat the heavily favored Lakers 107–101; it was the Lakers’ only playoff loss that year. In the game he notably stepped over Tyronn Lue after hitting a crucial shot. Iverson would go on to score 23, 35, 35, 37 in games 2–5, all losing efforts though the Sixers were not swept like many predicted. Iverson enjoyed his most successful season as an individual and as a member of the Sixers during the 2000–01 NBA season.

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May 12, 1985 - New York Knicks won the first NBA Draft Lottery

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Under the system adopted prior to the 1985 NBA Draft, the NBA Lottery determines the order of selection for the non-playoff teams (or the teams holding their picks through trades) for the first round only. Teams pick in inverse order of their records in the second round in all succeeding rounds.

In 1985, the jackpot of the very first NBA draft lottery was 7-0 Georgetown center Patrick Ewing. All seven teams that didn’t make the playoffs had an equal chance of landing the No.1 pick and thereby, Ewing. A lucky bounce of the ping pong balls made the New York Knicks the first draft lottery winner and then-general manager (and Hall of Famer) Dave DeBusschere rose from his seat with a celebratory fist pump.

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